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his resurrection, it was while Christ had not entered fully on his glory, and while they were in a state of imperfection, and by their errors, their prejudices, and their carna. hopes, rendered the interview less pleasing to their Lord than it would otherwise have been. These carnal hopes he had to destroy, by calling them to expectations more pure and lofty; these prejudices he had to remove by enlarging their hearts, and these errors he had to correct by the Spirit of wisdom; but in heaven there should not be a disposition in their hearts which did not accord with his own temper, a wish which did not coincide with his own plans, nor one feeling of regret that aught is awanting.
In that kingdom the highest honours were destined for himself; but to them, poor and despised as they now were, he would grant to share in his dignity, and to rejoice in his joy. In that kingdom there were crowns of life and thrones of glory for them also. His love deemed no abasement too low for himself, and no exaltation too high for them.
3. It suggests, that, when thus reunited, their intercourse should be most intimate and affectionate. In their present meeting, how endearing was the fellowship the disciples had with him! He manifests himself to them in a manner different from that in which he showed himself to the world, and in a mode of love, of which this was only an emblem, would he associate with them in glory. There were various circumstances here which limited their fellowship. There were scenes of suffering before him which darkened the prospect; there were services
which called him away from the retreat of friendship; there were expressions of kindness which they might abuse, and disclosures of truth which they were not yet able to bear; and there were infirmities and corruptions about them which he could not see without dislike; but how different would be the case in his heavenly kingdom! He should see nought, either before himself or them, but unfading honour and uninterrupted joy, and behold in them the excellencies in which he delighted, purified from every defect, and elevated to their highest degree. There should be nought about them to prevent his regarding them with unmingled complacency, and treating them with unlimited indulgence. There was much in his intercourse with them here that was trying to nature; but there they should be fitted for every communication he was pleased to make, and for every service he chose to require.
In his intercourse with them here Judas mingled, though he had probably gone out before the institution of the Holy Supper; but in heaven there should not be one whose heart was not sincere in friendship, nor one whose presence should in the least check the freest disclosure of the Redeemer's feelings. Here too the idea of the termination of this intercourse afflicted the disciples; but in heaven they should reign in life, never see their Saviour's countenance less complacent, nor behold the last enemy but in his final destruction.
4. It intimates, that in this reunion they should enjoy together the purest and most blissful delights. The phrase "new wine" is frequently employed in
Scripture to represent pleasures of the highest order; and such must be the case with the delights of the heavenly world. The Saviour shall then bestow upon them the blessings which he shed his precious blood to purchase, and which shall fill with rapture every faculty of their nature. They shall possess all the felicity which can arise from the fullest consciousness of Divine love, the brightest conformity to their Saviour's image, the liveliest exercise of every holy principle, the clearest view of Jehovah's wonders of mercy, and the sure possession of every good. The sweetest pleasures of this earth may become insipid and nauseous, and there are dregs in the most delicious cup,-" "Look not on the wine when it is red, when it giveth its colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright; for in the end it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder;"*-but for these celestial enjoyments there is increasing relish. can never become vapid or bitter. sure never cloys, and never fails. Psalmist," They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life, and in thy light shall we see light."t
This new wine Heavenly pleaThus saith the
There are three ideas which are most deserving of our attention here. They shall enjoy these delights with the Saviour. His presence shall heighten the beauty of paradise, and render more delicious the liquid which proceeds from its living fountains. In
* Prov. xxiii. 31, 32.
+ Ps. xxxvi. 8, 9.
all the tokens of their Father's complacency he shall share, and in all their attainments in excellence he shall be the pattern. The expression intimates too, that the enjoyments of the heavenly state shall be the same in kind with those of the sanctuary on earth, however they may differ in degree. They are excited by the same objects, and directed by the same spirit. In the world above they are marred by no painful recollections, no fear, and no distrust. No worldly feeling is there to repress their devotion, and no malignant impulse is there to damp their charity.
Their robes are
It is here suggested also, that these enjoyments in heaven should, like the holy communion on earth, bear a direct reference to the cross. Every feeling of rapture will attest its efficacy, and every song of the redeemed shall celebrate its glory. white, because they are washed in his blood; their palms are so verdant, because by it they are moistened. In their living rapture they feel the power of his dying love, and in their crown of glory they see what they owe to his death in shame.
I have only to add here, that their reunion with one another is intimated in this assurance. Though there were occasionally contentions and envyings among the disciples, they were warmly attached to each other, and it was gratifying to them to hear of their future intercourse. And Christ may have called it the kingdom of his Father, to show them that he spoke of a very different kingdom from that one, the idea of whose honours had inflamed their ambition and excited their strife.
III. I proceed now to consider these words as a memento intended for every observance of the Lord's Supper. Even in the smallest meetings assembled for this object it may be anticipated; and, in the most of cases, it is to a number that our Lord thus speaks. How many among us do we see approaching the Lord's table in that garb and look of sorrow which tell us, that since last communion they have been separated from those with whom they took sweet counsel, and went to the house of God; and there are sacramental solemnities in which we are reminded of the removal by death of ministers, who, on a preceding occasion, put into our hands these sacred symbols, and addressed to us the words of eternal life. Our fathers, where are they? The prophets, do they live for ever? And does not that impress us with the thought, that as another hand dispenses these symbols to us, so another hand than ours shall soon receive them, and that as they now dwell in silence so must we. At one sacrament or another these words will be addressed to every pious communicant, and sooner probably to the most vigorous and healthy than he is aware; for "we are strangers before God, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding."*
But there are some to whom the language of the text is peculiarly applicable. It is so to the aged Christian, whose heart and whose flesh fail, who has
* 1 Chron. xxix. 15.